#4 April 2008

A word from the President

Welcome to the EFTA Newsletter 4!

We have put together an interesting mix of articles and features, news from the three Boards of EFTA, and more news from the Glasgow congress. We hope you will find something to interest you!

In particular, we draw your attention to the link to the research article by Irving Kirsch and colleagues, that challenges the evidence for the efficacy of some anti-depressant medication. We think this meta-analytic review of the published and unpublished data will have far reaching consequences for the practice of the systemic therapies.

We include also Peter Stratton’s (EFTA TIC Board member) review of the evidence base for the family and systemic therapies, produced on behalf of AFT UK. Peter will be updating this review over the next year, and we shall bring that to you when it is available.

Please remember that we always welcome EFTA members’ contributions, so keep them coming…

With good wishes

Arlene Vetere
EFTA President

About Greece

Athens: A truly interprofessional meeting on the current status of Psychotherapy in Europe

by Mina Polemi-Todoulou, HELASYTH
Read more (PDF 224 Ko)

A two day workshop by Mony Elkaïm

Athens, Greece, 9-10 February 2008: the Hellenic Association for Systemic Therapy (HELASYTH) organized a two day workshop by Mony Elkaim on “The Feeling of the Therapist” and on “The Supervision in Family Therapy: Exploring Resonance”.
It was addressed to a wide community of therapists and trainees from different schools of thought with the purpose of introducing them to basic premises of the systemic thinking as it applies to the process of therapy. The networking with a wide range of different professionals, training centers, institutions and academic departments that was done in preparation of the event brought to the workshop an unusual variability of participants in terms of previous training and epistemological identity.
With the talented leading by Mony Elkaim the participants felt – as they reported in their evaluation – that a “new horizon” was opened to them, allowing the integration of experiences and concepts from different contexts and theoretical backgrounds. This is for us the true meaning of systemic thinking.
This event helped us realize once more the importance of opening up the dialogue in a wider population in terms of approaches in an attempt to enrich the systemic approach and promote applications in family therapy. The event was reported in a widely read newsmagazine which interviewed Mony Elkaim on Family therapy and how it can be helpful to individuals facing the challenges of today’s changing world.

Reported by Mina Polemi-Todoulou, HELASYTH

A systemic dialogue on family – and youth- related public concerns as projected in front-line news

Reported by Mina Polemi-Todoulou
Download the document (PDF 64 Ko)

About fires in Greece last summer

Our systemic community was challenged by fires in Greece on a massive scale
Reported by Mina Polemi-Todoulou (Word 252 Ko)

Fires cannot burn humanness
Reported by Dimitrios Karagiannis (English PDF 64 Ko) (Greek PDF 68 Ko)

A testimony by Nikos Kizilos (English PDF 64 Ko) (Greek PDF 60 Ko)

About Europe

European Pact on Mental Health

The European Commission organizes an important meeting on 13 June 2008 in Brussels, to establish a cross-sectoral European pact for mental Health
Read more

From Glasgow Congress (October 2007)

Presentation from Luigi Onnis, Italy (sub plenary)

The use of metaphors in systemic therapy: a bridge between mind and body languages
Download the presentation in English (PDF 360 Ko)

NFTO Symposium

Breaking News 2006-2007: A systemic View on Family and Youth related issues as Portrayed through Head line News. Reported by Mina Polemi-Todoulou, NFTO Board secretary
Download the report (PDF 72 Ko)

More pictures of the Glasgow Congress

See the selection of pictures

Next EFTA Congress in Paris, 29-31 October 2010

Join the supporting committee of the congress!!

How to join the supporting committee
Comment devenir membre du comité de soutien

Presentations from IFTA Congress, 26-29 March, Porto (Portugal)

How the third son kills Oedipus in Bulgaria?

by A.V. Trencheva, M.I. Markova, NGO-“Family Institute”, Sofia, Bulgaria
Download the presentation (PDF 160 Ko)

The language of Fantasy. Creating a New Communicational Context.

by Panagiotis Chrisos and Efstratia Karagianni
Download the presentation (PDF 152 Ko)

Recent publications / Publications récentes

Des abus et autres maltraitances

La maltraitance familiale entre thérapie et contrôle
Juan Luis Linares – ed. De Boeck Université, 15/01/2008
More information (in French)

With Gianfranco Cecchin

I had the pleasure of working with Gianfranco Cecchin on two publications before he died so suddenly. Last fall one book appeared under the German title: Wie kann ich Ihnen helfen, mich wieder loszuwerden-Therapie und Beratung in Zwangskontexten (How can I help you to get rid of me? Therapy and counseling with mandated/ unmotivated clients). And last summer I was able to finish another book with Gianfranco: Wenn Eltern aufgeben- konflikthafte Trennungen von Eltern und Kindern (When parents give up on their children) March 2008. His brightness and unconventional thoughts aroused a firework of mutual ideas between us. We are in the process of translation both books into English.

Dr. Marie-Luise Conen
Context-Institut für systemische Therapie und Beratung,Berlin, Germany

Evidence base os systemic family therapy

Report on evidence base of systemic family therapy

by Professor Peter Stratton
Download the report (PDF 256 Ko)

News from EFTA-CIM / Nouvelles d’EFTA-CIM

Developping exchanges and membership

EFTA proposes for the forthcoming 3 years :
1) to develop the force that its 900 members already represent
– by encouraging new members to join the association through agreements with the National Family Therapy Organisations from various countries. Those agreements will allow reduced membership fees.
– by multiplying the possibilities of exchanges of students and trainers.

2) to create as of today exchanges through the website to organize workshops for the next EFTA congress in Paris in 2010 joining together on the same topic EFTA-CIM members from various countries.

3) to be the place to inform members about the statute of psychotherapy in Europe and in each European country.

Jacques Pluymaekers

News from EFTA-TIC

Recent achievements

During the last few years and recently in the last month in France we defended training institutes against national laws which could have made them obsolete. In the case of France a law was passed in Parliament giving the right to conduct psychotherapy training to universities only. We succeeded to have this law rejected by the French Senate and then by the French Parliament. With the new government in France we had to inform the new Ministry of Health of our position again to prevent a law which would endanger the existence of private training institutes in France.

In recent years laws in preparation in different European countries are requiring training institutes of psychotherapy to be recognised by an international scientific organisation. EFTA-TIC is that organisation in the domain of family therapy in Europe. EFTA-TIC is so supporting and protecting the overall rights of family therapy training institutes in Europe.

We are also the only family therapy organisation on the international level which offers training of trainers in an annual meeting on topics crucial for training. This meeting is exclusively for trainers in family therapy and has, to date, been organized in the cities of Barcelona, Florence and Rhodes. The presentations from the 2007 meeting in Rhodes, on the topic of “Personal and Professional Development in Training” will be published by various European journals: “Human Systems” in English and other journals in Greek, French, Spanish and Italian.

4th Meeting of trainers – September 19-21, 2008 – Toulouse, France

In 2008, the 4th Meeting of Trainers will take place in Toulouse, France on Sept 19th – 21st. The topic will be: “Training in Family Therapy: Integrating Content, Form and Relationship“.
The registration fees at this meeting will be largely financed by the EFTA-TIC funds and so only a modest fee will be charged for participation so as to cover the necessary costs.
Announcement (PDF 692 Ko)
Registration form (Word 44 Ko)
Abstract form (Word 44 Ko)

The board of EFTA-TIC

News from EFTA-NFTO

New positions and next meeting in Helsinki

In the meeting in Lille in January 2008 the new NFTO board constituted itself.
The new positions are:

Eija-Liisa Rautiainen, the chair person,
Eric Louis, the vice chair and the treasurer and
Mina Polemi-Todoulou, the secretary.

The other members have their own responsibilities as well:

Maria Borcsa, research issues with Mina Polemi-Todoulou
Javier Bou, membership issues with
Julia Hardy, who is also responsible for the work around the ethical code of EFTA,
David Skorunka, NFTO website.

The NFTO board is getting ready for NFTO chamber meeting in June in Helsinki. A lot of interesting and important issues will be talked about there; the goals for NFTO-work for the next three years, using new technology (virtual zones in internet, Skype etc.) in communication between the chamber representatives and board members, plans for collaboration in research field etc. For the first time, there will be a workshop before the actual meeting, on Thursday 12th of June, both for local family therapists and chamber representatives. Peter Stratton and Nevena Calovska from EFTA-TIC will be presenting their work. There will be more information about the meeting soon available in NFTO section of the EFTA website:

We welcome all the participants of the meeting to Helsinki and are looking forward to working together with you there. Don’t hesitate to contact us, if you have any questions or suggestions.

Eija-Liisa Rautiainen

NFTO Secretary’s Report 2004-2007

Report by Mina Polemi-Todoulou
Download the report (PDF 132 Ko)

EAP Congress twice awarded

ICCA Best Marketing Award

The 15th EAP congress held in Florence from June 14th to 17th 2007 won ICCA Best Marketing Award, the yearly acknowledgement which recognizes the excellence and outstanding achievements of organisations in their effort to market their destination or product.
Read more in ENGLISH (PDF 136 Ko)
Read more in ITALIAN (PDF 136 Ko)

Best European Events Award (BEA)

15th EAP congress in Florence also won another prize for Best European Events award, first Prize in the category “Innovative events” and second in the general list.
“I guess we won specially for the connection of the conference with the city and the social environment. We made an exhibition on humour and psychotheray and a charity sale of purple clown noses at the footbal match.”
Rodolfo de Bernard

Pictures from the congress

Visit the gallery


Michael White has passed away

It is with great sadness that we inform you that Michael White creator of “Narrative approach in Family Therapy” died on 5th April, 2008
Read more


Initial severity and anti-depressant benefits: a meta-analysis of data submitted to the food and drug administration.

A landmark study on the relative lack of effectiveness of anti-depressant medication
by Kirsch, Deacon, Huedo-Medina, Moore and Johnson.
Read the study

Constructing an outcome measure for therapy with relational systems: Practioner Research Networks in action

Peter Stratton,
Leeds Family Therapy & Research Centre, University of Leeds
Download the document (PDF 92 Ko)

Making research useful for the practising psychotherapist

Stratton P., & Winter D., Editorial, The psychotherapist, 38,1.
Download the Editorial (PDF 64 Ko)

Contact us

For any contributions, comments, … Do not hesitate to contact us!

President of EFTA: Professor Arlene Vetere
EFTA Secretariat: Fabienne Dardenne